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Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

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The FoodBank Festival brings hopes for SF-Marin Food Bank

On Sunday, June 2, the San Rafael Elks Lodge #1108 hosted the ninth annual FoodBank Festival. The afternoon festival lasted from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and featured live music from four different performing groups: Firewheel, Key Lime Pie, Todos Santos and the San Rafael High School band. Food and drinks were also available for purchase, and all of the proceeds generated from sales were donated to the SF-Marin Food Bank. 

The Fraternal Committee Chairperson of the club, Joseph Tato, explained how the event first began.

Club members and guests dance while listening to the live performance of Firewheel.

“Nine years ago, a band member from Key Lime Pie said his wife wanted to put on a fundraising event for SF-Marin Food Bank. My birthday was coming up, so I said I wanted to have a birthday party. We got some other bands to come play for free and I sold tickets to strangers, [friends and family], and all of the money was donated to the food bank,” Tato said.

Tato has been around from the start and witnessed how the event has changed throughout the years.

“Every year [the festival] has gotten better. Better music, better crowds, better behavior — everything is just better,” Tato said. 

Becky Carlucci attended the festival this year for the first time to experience the live music and atmosphere.

“I saw Key Lime Pie perform a few weeks ago, and they were so much fun to watch,” Carlucci said. “When I heard they were performing here today, I thought, ‘What better way to spend my day than listening to some good music?’”

Carlucci expressed her excitement for the event and how she loves that the fun is donating to others.

The band Key Lime Pie performs in front of a live audience at the Food Bank Festival.

“I attend these sorts of events all the time; I just love to dance and have a good time. [At the festival] today, the weather is good, the music is good, the energy is good. What else could you ask for?” Carlucci said. “A $10 entry fee is nothing to me if it means having a good time, but more importantly, the money is going to a good cause. I feel good knowing I’m contributing to someone else’s life.”

Jim Miller has been attending the FoodBank Festival for four years. He explains that even though the event has changed a bit over time, it still holds the same energy.

“Every year the bands are a little different, and the group of people attending has changed and expanded, but what continues to stay the same is that people are always having fun. I look one way and people are dancing, I look another way and kids are rolling in the grass. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, everyone is having a good time,” Miller said. 

Marie and Peter Behr are San Rafael Elk Ridge club members who worked at the event. Marie has been a member for two years, but Peter has been a member for over 20 years and has been bringing Marie to similar events at the club for decades. They shared their experience assisting at the music festival. 

A volunteer club member serves food to a local guest at the event.

“They needed volunteers to help today and so we thought, ‘Why not?’ The music is fantastic, the food is good and everyone is having a good time,” Marie said. 

Peter shares how the event brought in many new guests and how he enjoyed seeing new people.

“A lot of the time [I] see lots of club members at these sorts of events. There are lots of familiar faces today, but also lots of new faces because people can attend the event as guests of the club. I love seeing so many people come together,” Peter said.  

Tato knows there are still improvements to be made, and he shares his hopes for the club’s future and for the charity events it hosts. 

“We do a lot of community outreach as a club, and we’re hoping that through our work with the community, we can expose ourselves to potential new members. I see more membership, more donations to charity and even more fun,” Tato said.

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About the Contributors
Robert Lapic
Robert Lapic, Senior Staff Writer
Robert Lapic is a senior at Redwood High School and a senior staff writer for the Bark. In his free time, he loves to play baseball and go hiking around Marin.
Ella Erwig
Ella Erwig, Senior Staff Writer
Ella is a current senior at Redwood High School and is a senior staff writer for the Bark. Ella likes to spend time with friends, play tennis and take her dog to Blackie's Pasture in her free time. She is also a pickle enthusiast!